Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Ignoring Reality

Lots of people picked up on Dan Baum’s Twitter account of his firing from the New Yorker. Scott Rosenberg, co-founder and one-time editor of Salon has an interesting perspective on the whole thing. In particular, he responds to this Tweet from Baum: “The biggest disappointment was learning that, after all, it’s not only about the work on the page.”

Rosenberg wrote, “My reaction to reading this observation is: If I were your editor and you ever said anything like that to me, I’d seriously consider firing you on the spot. No reporter can afford this level of naivete, and no editor’s budget should be spent on it. Reporters have to understand the world pragmatically, as it is, in all its mess and compromise; how can you trust a reporter who doesn’t even understand how his own profession works?”

This is actually one of the things that drive me a bit crazy as well. I find it happens often as people ignore the economics of a situation, but there is a real issue when people pretend that reality is supposed to match the idyllic scene you’ve painted in your mind. It doesn’t and that’s okay, if it did things would be a whole lot less interesting (and everyone would probably be rich).

May 13, 2009